Al Qaeda-Linked Groups Claim Responsibility For Mali Attack

Photograph: telegraph.co.uk
Photograph: telegraph.co.uk

At least 21 people were killed in Friday’s hostage-taking in Mali, Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali, said.

About three gunmen around 7.00 am, local time, on Friday entered Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, the state capital, having gained entrance with a diplomatic vehicle, and opened fire with AK-47.




     

     

    A Jihadist group linked to al Qaeda, Al-Mourabitoun, has claimed responsibility for the incident that saw about 170 people taken hostage. The group announced that it carried out the attack in conjunction with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM.

    Al-Mourabitoun, made up mostly of Tuaregs and Arabs from the northern Mali regions of Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao, is led by one-eyed Algerian, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who has been pronounced dead several times but is still apparently alive.

    The luxurious 190-room Radisson Blu is owned by the hotel chain Rezidor Hotel Group with headquarters in Belgium. It is mainly used by foreigners who are in Mali either for business or tourism.

    Two gunmen were killed as troops moved from room to room to search for possible armed suspects.

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